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Indonesia goes ahead with rule for Big Tech

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Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate during a meeting with the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Oct. 16, 2021. THE JAKARTA POST

Indonesia goes ahead with rule for Big Tech

Indonesia’s Press Council has taken a step further toward producing a regulation that will require big internet firms in Indonesia to pay news outlets for content.

Press Council head of inter-institutional relations Agus Sudibyo handed on Wednesday an academic paper on regulating publishers’ rights to Communications and Information Technology Minister Johnny G Plate.

The paper will provide the policy groundwork for a draft regulation on the matter to be submitted to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. A first draft was submitted to the ministry in October last year.

“This is a step further to realize the regulation of publishers’ rights in Indonesia,” said the ministry’s director general of information and public communication, Usman Kansong. “Platforms need to respect copyright and national media copyrights and [support] quality journalism.”

The draft regulation, meant to support the domestic news industry, seeks to address issues including requirements for aggregators such as Google and Facebook to negotiate fees with publishers, as well as algorithmic influences in digital media.

“You can take content, but you need to pay a certain amount. That’s one of the elements discussed in the draft regulation. The goal is to achieve what is called quality journalism or good journalism,” said Usman, citing the example of Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code regulation, which has succeeded in increasing media revenue by 30 percent.

The years-old complaint of publishers, which have been losing advertising revenue to online aggregators, that tech giants benefit from using news content in search results or other features without proper compensation, will be among the matters addressed by the proposed regulation.

Minister Johnny ordered that the paper be sent to the State Secretariat, before regulators decide whether to pass the regulation as a government or presidential regulation.

The ministry will also involve the public and media sustainability task force in the drafting process, if the draft continues to the next stage.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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